— Charles de Gaulle eighteenth President of the French Republic 1890 - 1970
„It is not good for a man to be too cognizant of his physical and spiritual mechanisms. Complete knowledge reveals limits to human possibilities, and the less a man is by nature limited in his purposes, the less he can tolerate limits.“
„The highest knowledge man can possess is that which is true in his own experience. If his experience is limited, so is his knowledge and he behaves accordingly.“
— Barry Long Australian spiritual teacher and writer 1926 - 2003
Context: You think: you become that thought. And consciousness, or the state of pure awareness, is lost. The highest knowledge man can possess is that which is true in his own experience. If his experience is limited, so is his knowledge and he behaves accordingly.
— Arthur Schopenhauer, Studies in Pessimism: The Essays
„In view of the fact that God limited the intelligence of man, it seems unfair that he did not also limit his stupidity.“
— Konrad Adenauer German statesman, Federal Chancellor of Germany, politician (CDU) 1876 - 1967
As quoted in Through Russian Eyes : President Kennedy's 1036 Days (1973) by Anatoliĭ Andreevich Gromyko, p. 128
— Alphonse de Lamartine French writer, poet, and politician 1790 - 1869
Méditations Poétiques (1820), Sermon 2
„It is hardly in human nature that a man should quite accurately gauge the limits of his own insight; but it is the duty of those who profit by his work to consider carefully where he may have been carried beyond it.“
— William Kingdon Clifford English mathematician and philosopher 1845 - 1879
Context: It is hardly in human nature that a man should quite accurately gauge the limits of his own insight; but it is the duty of those who profit by his work to consider carefully where he may have been carried beyond it. If we must needs embalm his possible errors along with his solid achievements, and use his authority as an excuse for believing what he cannot have known, we make of his goodness an occasion to sin.
„It must be recognized that man in his limited and relative earthly life is capable of bringing about the beautiful and the valuable only when he believes in another life, unlimited, absolute, eternal. That is a law of his being. A contact with this mortal life exclusive of any other ends in the wearing-away of effective energy and a self-satisfaction that makes one useless and superficial. Only the spiritual man, striking his roots deep in infinite and eternal life, can be a true creator. But Humanism denied the spiritual man, handed over the eternal to the temporal, and took its stand by the natural man within the limited confines of the earth.“
— Nikolai Berdyaev Russian philosopher 1874 - 1948
„The advantage, the luxury, as well as the torment and responsibility of the novelist, is that there is no limit to what he may attempt as an executant — no limit to his possible experiments, efforts, discoveries, successes.“
— Henry James American novelist, short story author, and literary critic 1843 - 1916
— Alfred De Vigny French poet, playwright, and novelist 1797 - 1863
Poèmes philosophiques, "La flute", line 108; (ed.) Paul Viallaneix Oeuvres complètes (1965) p. 103; translation from Jason Merchey Values of the Wise (2004) p. 200. (1843).
— Lyndon B. Johnson American politician, 36th president of the United States (in office from 1963 to 1969) 1908 - 1973
Context: I hope these measures will be adequate. But if the necessities of Vietnam require it, I will not hesitate to return to the Congress for additional appropriations, or additional revenues if they are needed. The second road is justice. Justice means a man's hope should not be limited by the color of his skin. I propose legislation to establish unavoidable requirements for nondiscriminatory jury selection in federal and state courts—and to give the Attorney General the power necessary to enforce those requirements. I propose legislation to strengthen authority of federal courts to try those who murder, attack, or intimidate either civil rights workers or others exercising their constitutional rights—and to increase penalties to a level equal to the nature of the crime. Legislation, resting on the fullest constitutional authority of the federal government, to prohibit racial discrimination in the sale or rental of housing. For that other nation within a nation—the poor—whose distress has now captured the conscience of America, I will ask the Congress not only to continue, but to speed up the war on poverty. And in so doing, we will provide the added energy of achievement with the increased efficiency of experience. To improve the life of our rural Americans and our farm population, we will plan for the future through the establishment of several new Community Development Districts, improved education through the use of Teacher Corps teams, better health measures, physical examinations, and adequate and available medical resources.
„The view from complexity claims that we cannot know complex things completely... modest positions are inescapable... We can increase the knowledge we have of a certain [complex] system, but this knowledge is limited... The fact that our knowledge is limited is not a disaster, it is a condition for knowledge. Limits enable knowledge.“
— Paul Cilliers South African philosopher 1956 - 2011
Paul Cilliers (2005: 263) as quoted in: Vikki Bell (2007) Culture and Performance: The Challenge of Ethics, Politics and Feminist Theory. p. 8
„Education: that which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge.“
— Mark Twain American author and humorist 1835 - 1910
„He may also believe in the existence of the ideal limit of knowledge and that it is approached by the human mind. He may call this ideal limit the objective truth.“
— Albert Einstein German-born physicist and founder of the theory of relativity 1879 - 1955
Context: Physical concepts are free creations of the human mind, and are not, however it may seem, uniquely determined by the external world. In our endeavor to understand reality we are somewhat like a man trying to understand the mechanism of a closed watch. He sees the face and the moving hands, even hears its ticking, but he has no way of opening the case. If he is ingenious he may form some picture of a mechanism which could be responsible for all the things he observes, but he may never be quite sure his picture is the only one which could explain his observations. He will never be able to compare his picture with the real mechanism and he cannot even imagine the possibility or the meaning of such a comparison. But he certainly believes that, as his knowledge increases, his picture of reality will become simpler and simpler and will explain a wider and wider range of his sensuous impressions. He may also believe in the existence of the ideal limit of knowledge and that it is approached by the human mind. He may call this ideal limit the objective truth. The Evolution of Physics (1938) (co-written with Leopold Infeld) <!-- later published by Simon & Schuster (1967) -->
„To be sure, the human individual can, even must, feel and know himself to be limited—and this is what distinguishes him from the animal—but he can become conscious of his limits, his finite-ness, only because he can make the perfection and infinity of his species the object either of his feeling, conscience, or thought. But if his limitations appear to him as emanating from the species, this can only be due to his delusion that he is identical with the species, a delusion intimately linked with the individual’s love of ease, lethargy, vanity, and selfishness; for a limit which I know to be mine alone, humiliates, shames, and disquiets me. Hence, in order to free myself of this feeling of shame, this uneasiness, I make the limits of my individuality the limits of man’s being itself. What is incomprehensible to me is incomprehensible to others; why should this worry me at all? It is not due to any fault of mine or of my understanding: the cause lies in the understanding of the species itself. But it is a folly, a ludicrous and frivolous folly to designate that which constitutes the nature of man and the absolute nature of the individual, the essence of the species, as finite and limited.“
— Ludwig Feuerbach German philosopher and anthropologist 1804 - 1872
Introduction, Z. Hanfi, trans., in The Fiery Brook (1972), pp. 103-104